The Apple Tree by Mariam Al-Kalby, Illustrated by Yee Von Chan

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appletree

I have been looking forward to obtaining this book for a while (it was back ordered on Amazon) and over all it was worth the price $16, and worth the wait.  The illustrations are absolutely beautiful.  At story time the kids constantly urge me to take my time in turning the page.  They aren’t incredibly detailed, just very whimsical and engaging, that you want to take a peek and stay a while to play with little Shaima.

The book’s moral comes from two hadiths (sayings of Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.)) “When a Muslim plants a tree, whatever is eaten from it is charity from him, and whatever stolen is charity, and whatever is subtracted from it is charity” (Sahih Muslim), and ” There is no Muslim who plants a tree or sows seeds and then a bird, or a person, or an animal eats from it except that it is regarded as charity for him” (Sahih Bukhari).

The main character, Shaima, wakes up one morning at fajr to find her Baba planting an apple tree.  The two discuss what “reward of charity” means and the value of sharing.  Time presumably passes, although the tree does seem to grow and produce incredibly fast.  Once the apples are ready to be picked, Shaima finds everyone taking her apples: a little boy, a squirrel and her babies, some birds, what can she do?  The solution is both a lesson and inspiration for the character and the reader and makes for a fun book to get the discussion rolling on a wide variety of topics: patience, charity, sharing, generosity, humility and more, alhumdulillah.

The book is not AR, but is relevant to 4 year old children and up.  The book is hardcover and 32 pages. There are six Arabic words which are explained in the glossary and do not impede the story in any way.

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